So what exactly is a superfood anyways?
At some point, many of us have probably wished there was a magic pill one could pop and instantly fit in this sublime size-zero pair of jeans. Or a wonder potion that would instantaneously transform you into the definition of health itself. But, while there are no such pills or potions, there is an alternative: superfoods.
Characteristics of a superfood
You’ve probably heard about them by now with all the media hype. A superfood comes with an impressive resume compared to other common foods: packed with various vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other multi-tasking nutrients, superfoods are considered to be superheroes in the world of foods as they possess several disease-fighting or weight-reducing abilities unlike other foods.
A superfood is not necessarily an exorbitantly priced or unusual exotic food. Take red bell peppers for instance, they’re widely available and affordable and 1 medium-sized fruit contains twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange. And that (extra)ordinary pepper contains capsaicin, a compound that is lethal to cancer cells; reduces insulin levels after a meal and may therefore help curb obesity. Capsaicin also appears to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the nasty bug that causes 80% of ulcers and peppers are showing promising results as anti-inflammatory agents.
Portion size matters
Yes, that applies to superfoods as well. Almonds can be your best weight loss pal but they are not calorie-free. So, if you eat the whole jar (I know how easy that may be), it would cause weight gain. Kind of defeats the purpose don’t you think? But you can take more liberties with veggies like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, peppers and so on.
Beware of scams
For a superfood to be a TRUE superfood, it cannot be a processed food! It has to be in its natural, wholesome form. See this bag of enriched sweet potato crisps with the label ‘Wonder food’ on it? Well, it’s nothing but big companies promoting their brand! You see, these giants have also realized that consumers are becoming more health conscious. Solution? They add a few blueberries to their ice-cream and promote their ‘new’ product as a healthy food containing a superfood that can help you lose weight! Yes, blueberries do help the body burn fat faster but it would be funny to gulp down a tub of blueberry ice-cream full of hydrogenated palm oil and expect the berries to absorb that fat… Don’t fall in their trap!
What about garlic (or whatever) pills?
That would be big pharmas trying to make easy money. Synthetic or pill-versions of superfoods just don’t have the same effect as the nutrients in its natural form. So, enjoy food.
How much is enough?
Try to eat at least 1 portion of veggies at each meal and 2 to 3 fruits a day. Make your plate colorful: brown grass-fed meat, green spinach with some yellow and red bell peppers, a little bit pumpkin and a bunch of red grapes for dessert. That way you’re sure to get a variety of nutrients. Don’t like veggies? Have you tried green smoothies? They’re yummy!